Hong Kong was the first city I visited on the asian continent. Those were my first steps in a country, in which i couldnt read a sign, and maybe the first time i felt a culture shock. I really liked it though.
Most people I know prefer visting Thailand, Japan or Indonesia. But i gotta tell you, that Hong Kong has A LOT to offer! We spent 5 or 6 nights in HK, and those 6 days kept as busy for every single second.
Here are my favorite spots I'd recommend to everyone who visits Hong Kong for the first time:
• Victoria Peak
The classic skyline from the top of a mountain. From that viewing point you get a look all over Hong Kong, the bay and all of Kowloon. Everything else besides the view feels very touristic, the restaurants, the crowds, and the waiting line for the escalator. Go up there, take some photos, enjoy the skyline, and get off again.:)
• Lantau Island
Lantau Island is famous for its Big Buddha, and the way to reach the island is a pretty adeventurous one as well. You can hike all the way up to the Buddha which will take you a couple hours i guess, or you take the hanging cable-car, which still takes around 10 to 15 minutes to reach the touristic area. But expect a huge waiting line to reach the lift. Next time i'm gonna visit HK, i will plan a whole day on hiking the Lantau Isaland. If you're afraid of heights, it will be a fun ride. I had to close my eyes a couple times. ;) Once you passed the souvenir-shops & the food village, you can walk your way up a hundred of stairs til you reach the Big Buddha statue. From up there you get a breathtaking view of the Island. Expect lots of tourists though...but still.. totally worth the trip!
• Lei Yue Mun
Lei Yue Mun isn't the hippest or cleanest area of Hong Kong, but it's a great place to take authentic photos of HK. Actually it's a big fish market, surrounded by boat houses, and tons of fisher boats. Most people you will meet over there are locals. The day we visited Lei Yue Mun, we were pretty much the only tourists.
• Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
This walk uphill was one of the most memorable moments I had in HK. You can feel the serenety while walking up those the thousands of stairs til you reach the monastry. You're surrounded by nature, and it takes you away from the busy city life you mostly experience in Hong Kong. It's en exhausting path for sure, and it feels like an endless path. The monastery itself isn't that impressiv at all, but it's rather the path with the then thousands buddha statues in line who will lead you to the top of the mountain.
• Victoria Harbour
Trust me that the skyline of Hong Kong you will see from the Kowloon bay at Victoria Harbour, is far more impressive than then one you know from Brooklyn of Manhattan. I remember that we walked towards the bay after sunset, feeling a light wind, and hearing the sound of the waves, and the huge concrete jungle ahead of us felt like a blast that moment. Every evening there's a laser show, which actually is the cheesy part of the game. Lots of people meet up at the Victora Harbour to observe that laser show. Forget about the laser show, and enjoy the HK skyline!
• Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong is a big block on the Hong Kong Island where nightlife happens. Bad thing about it, it's filled with expats and tourists. The only asian people you are going to meet, might be tourists from other countries. The good thing is, it's easy to find, it's always busy: every night! There's a daily happy hour, where you pay 5 euro [7$] for 2 gin&tonics. All the bars are grouped within one block, so you never get lost, no matter how drunk you get. Just above Lan Kwai Fong, there's Wyndham Street, and Hollywood Road. Those two streets are packed with restaurants and bars as well. One of the popular clubs called "Dragon-I" is located on that road.
There are plenties of temples all around the city. Same counts for shopping areas, expect infinite shopping in HK. I love the right mix of modern buildings, vivid city life, and still keeping traditional buildings & markets inside the city.
Food and drinks are pretty cheap, and the food is really delicious if you avoid the touristic hotspots. The flight from Luxembourg to Hong-Kong and our 5-nights at fancy hotel totally cost around 800 euro. I haven't visited HK since then, but i'm pretty sure I'm heading back very soon. We visited HK in November and it still felt like summer time. If you're looking for a nice winter/fall destination, check out Hong Kong Island!